I find that my teams (JV Girls), especially at the beginning of the season, have difficulty marking up and staying organized, so I devised this approach that works well-ish (the difficulty is getting them to stay disciplined in the game).
A fairly simple set-up and approach:
- a +2 or so game to goal (numbers depend on your numbers and the skill of the group); I started with 6 on 4 and progressed to 8 on 6.
- the defense and goalie begin on the 6 facing the goal, i.e. with their backs to the offense (no turning, no peeking)
- the offense has the run of the field outside of the 18; they can organize and set themselves up however they want (and I encourage them to be creative; this is for the defense, after all, so all of them clumped together or a group with an outlier all forces the defense to figure it out)
- once the game starts, the defense turns and has to assess where the offense is, how they are lined up, and where the attack is coming from
- ideally, the defense organizes and marks up and the game goes to goal
- I restrict the offense to no shots before 3-5 passes are completed, but it just occurred to me as I’m writing this that I should impose a time limit, i.e. after 30 seconds (which I will announce) they can shoot); too much of the game was quick shots that didn’t let the defense focus on what they needed to